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Leaders of NHS organisations across Somerset have praised locals for their response during the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of both Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by people’s kindness, thoughtfulness and support as our staff and services face unprecedented times.

”We are so grateful for all the offers of help and heart-felt support that we have had from people and local businesses who have sent us messages and, sent us goods. Both ourselves and our colleagues at Yeovil District Hospital are working through how to best use these kind donations to support our wonderful staff who work in hospital, community and mental health services.”

“We’d also like to thank the local businesses who have made offers of help and support for our staff on the front line.”

Jonathan Higman, chief executive at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We recognise that everyone has had to change their daily lives to support the NHS and their local community in a variety of ways.

“Thank you – because every day you follow the guidance and stay at home, you are helping us for the weeks ahead.

“The NHS is facing the greatest global health threat in its history. But staff across the NHS are pulling out all the stops to care for patients with coronavirus and prepare for the surge in cases we know is coming.

“It is vital that people follow the expert guidance and wash their hands, stay at home and use the NHS responsibly so that services are there for those who really need it.”

The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying healthcare services across the region, has praised the joint working and collaboration across health and care, social care, county and district councils and voluntary organisations for the people of Somerset.

James Rimmer, chief executive at Somerset CCG, said:

“We are working closely with our partners not just in health care, but with Somerset County Council, district councils and Avon and Somerset Police, our Somerset voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and many others to co-ordinate our response. We will continue working together to ensure that we provide the people of Somerset with the best health and care services we can during these uncertain times.

“We’d like to say a special thank you to all the teachers and childcare workers who are continuing to educate and care for our staff’s children so that they can continue to care for others. Our Somerset headteachers have done exceptional work with their teams at very short notice to support the children of NHS staff and other key workers.”

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

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